First, it was Anna Hazare, then Rahul Gandhi in UP and Baba Ramdev. Many of my foreign friends are wondering what is happening in India. I wish I knew. I spent nine days in India from May 27th night until June 6th morning, in five cities. I gave lectures at the CFA chapters in Delhi, Bengaluru and in Chennai. The theme of my presentations in these cities was that the global crisis of 2008 was not over. In all the three centres, the speech was well received.
On Sunday, the 29th May, I was in Pune attending the Takshashila ‘Shala’. I was impressed by M. R. Madhavan’s presentation. He is a co-founder of Parliament Research Service which is doing wonderful work in informing our legislators on various things that they ought to be informed about in their roles as legislators. The multiplier effect of their work will be felt in the years to come.
I was impressed by Ms. Meera Sanyal’s resolve in wanting to come back to the political arena. She said firmly that politics mattered. Most of us in India are now finding vicarious participation in the political process through our participation in the anti-corruption movement. But, that is not a substitute for the real thing no matter how difficult the real thing is. That is why it was heartening to hear from Vijay Anand (Lok Satta – Tamil Nadu Unit) that they have just embarked on a marathon and not a 100-day sprint. The Lok Satta – Tamil Nadu Unit contested in 30+ assembly seats in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. They did not win any. But, they intend to have shadow MLAs for each constitutency they contested and a shadow cabinet too. Kudos. I am not commenting on the other speakers at the Shala simply because I could not be at their sessions.
Hence, the break in blogging.
Besides these stimulating sessions at the Takshashila Shala in Pune, I had wonderful one-on-one meetings with Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta in Delhi and with Dr. T. V. Somanathan who was the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Chennai Metro until last year. The one-hour session was perhaps equivalent to half a doctoral seminar course on the political economy of India.
As to what is currently going on in India – the country is fully living up to the line, ‘this can happen only in India’ – just have to read these columns by Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta, by C. Raja Mohan and by Dr. Shankar Acharya. I had penned a couple of columns myself in the last three weeks on Indian affairs.
With this out of the way, we can go back to the exciting action that is beginning to unfold in Europe.